"Ships of Steel: A British Columbia Shipbuilder's Story" (used book)

"Ships of Steel: A British Columbia Shipbuilder's Story" (used book)

Regular price $20.00 Sale

Ships of Steel: A British Columbia Shipbuilder's Story

by T.A. McLaren & Vickie Jensen


About the book

Used book. Hardcover. Dust jacket included. Good condition. Taped tear in dust jacket.

The experience, common sense and wit of three generations of McLarens, a West Coast shipbuilding family, bring the story of British Columbia steel shipbuilding to life in this Illustrated history of Allied Shipbuilders Ltd.

The commercial shipbuilding industry has operated in BC for more than 100 years. For well over half of that span, Arthur McLaren built steel ships – first with his father, W.D. McLaren, and then with his three sons, James, Douglas, and Malcolm. As owner and operator of Allied Shipbuilders he designed many of the vessels his shipyard built, and he knew the business inside out. When declining health finally curtailed his shipyard work, he became equally determined to record his observations and recollections of a lifetime in shipbuilding – from his early years growing up in a shipbuilding family to the challenges of building steel vessels and learning lessons “the hard way”.

Ships of steel chronicles the industry in BC from its earliest days, to the pivotal years of World War II, when 25,000 people built and delivered two 10,000-dwt freighters every week, to the last half of the twentieth century, when local shipbuilders applied their skills to the production of tugs, barges, fishing boats, ferries and icebreakers. The story of Allied – much of it told in Arthur McLaren’s own words and salted with his humour – is presented in the context of this engaging history of the industry by marine writer Vickie Jensen. Also included are anecdotal and technical information from McLaren’s archives, the recollections of his colleagues, and a wealth of marine photographs. Two appendices follow the text: the first details the variety of vessels built by Allied, a product range typical of many BC shipbuilders; the second is an annotated listing of all the BC’s commercial metal shipbuilding firms.

Ships of steel is a rare behind-the-scenes look at a coastal shipyard, an invaluable piece of BC maritime and industrial history, and a tribute to the skill, determination and ingenuity of BC’s shipbuilders.